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Reading Is Fundamental and State Farm Support Children with Literacy Resources During Time of Uncertainty

State Farm Media Contact:
Evannah Johnson | 301-514-3530

Washington, DC – November 11, 2020 – Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) and State Farm team up for a 14th year to provide 4,257 books to children in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia during a critical time for literacy resources in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

RIF’s programs rely on a simple, yet fundamental truth: if you give children access to books, they will be more engaged readers. Research has confirmed that book ownership sets children on a path to become accomplished readers and critical thinkers. Books for Ownership (BFO), RIF’s flagship program since 1966, has therefore pursued expanded book ownership for children, allowing over 53 million children to experience the power and excitement of building a home library with books they love.

Through the generosity of State Farm, RIF was awarded a Good Neighbor Citizenship grant this year to continue to bring BFO programming with State Farm and its local agents to the DMV-area. With more than 1.6 million children learning virtually at home in the DMV1, a third of all reading gains could be lost from abrupt and extended school closures this past spring, exacerbating existing achievement gaps2.

To help address the unprecedented disruption in learning, RIF and State Farm are pleased to announce that BFO Book Celebration Events will begin this November, bringing books and excitement to more than 1,200 kindergarten to fifth grade students at five selected schools in the DMV-area. During these events each child will safely be able to select 3 books to build their home libraries.

RIF and State Farm have adapted their typical in-school programming to ensure participant safety given COVID-19. Children will choose their books in a manner that best fits the safety measures each school has in place, whether that be through distributing books at meal distribution sites or through homework packet pickups. Additional enrichment activities will take place online, including virtual engagement with local State Farm agents and employees, to extend learning beyond the book and build engagement with RIF resources for students and their families.

Additionally, RIF offers its free book resource platform, Literacy Central, to provide digital resources to enhance and extend the book celebration events. Literacy Central provides educators, parents, and caregivers thousands of supplemental reading activities and resources that correspond to the titles their child has selected including recently added activities created specifically to support online learning. From book guides and reading logs to narrated read-aloud videos and thematic reading centers, children are encouraged to keep the reading momentum going with these supporting resources. To find these free resources and much more, visit https://www.rif.org/literacy-central.

“Reading books is essential for children to become successful in school and in life,” says State Farm spokesperson Evannah Johnson. “We are a proud supporter of RIF and its commitment to transforming lives and communities through literacy.”

“Reading Is Fundamental is committed to creating a culture of literacy in communities nationwide. As children around the country are navigating a “new normal” this school year, we are dedicated to ensuring they have the fundamental building blocks for success,” says RIF President and CEO, Alicia Levi. “For more than 50 years, Reading Is Fundamental has supported communities with the books and resources needed to impact children. We are excited to partner with State Farm once again and believe that together we can make a difference, particularly in these difficult times for our nation.”

1. School Districts’ Reopening Plans: A Snapshot (2020, July 15). Education Week. Retrieved October 8, 2020 from https://www.edweek.org/ew/section/multimedia/school-districts-reopening-plans-a-snapshot.html
2. Goldstein, Dana. Research Shows Students Falling Months Behind During Virus Disruptions. (2020, June 10). The New York Times. Retrieved October 8, 2020 from https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/05/us/coronavirus-education-lost-learning.html?referringSource=articleShare

About State Farm®:

The mission of State Farm is to help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected, and realize their dreams. State Farm and its affiliates are the largest providers of auto and home insurance in the United States. Its 19,200 agents and 59,000 employees serve approximately 84 million policies and accounts – over 81 million auto, fire, life, health and commercial policies and over 2 million bank and investment planning services accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, is available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 36 on the 2019 Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit http://www.statefarm.com.

About Reading Is Fundamental:
Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) is committed to a literate America by inspiring a passion for reading among all children, providing quality content to create impact, and engaging communities in the solution to give every child the fundamentals for success. As the nation’s largest nonprofit organization for children’s literacy, RIF has provided more than 416 million books to 50 million kids in all 50 states, inspiring generations to read, learn and grow.